ONLINE ROUNDTABLE – Workers, Travellers, Leaders: Actresses in Early Modern Europe

Workers, Travellers, Leaders: Actresses in Early Modern Europe

Wednesday 2 March, 6 pm (GMT)


A Roundtable discussion with Professor Simona Brunetti (Università di Verona) and Professor Sarah Gwyneth Ross (Boston College), with the participation of Professor Danielle Clarke (University College Dublin) as respondent. The roundtable will be chaired by Dr Serena Laiena (University College Dublin).


Simona Brunetti (Università di Verona)
Barbara Flaminia and the Others: the Beginnings of Italian Female Theatrical Professionalism and the First Travels in Europe

Sarah Gwyneth Ross (Boston College)
Why Actresses? Italian Academies, Literary Chivalry, and the Divas of the Andreini Family 

To register for the online event, please click here.

Workers, Travellers, Leaders: Actresses in Early Modern Europe

Prof. Simona Brunetti:
Barbara Flaminia and the others: the beginnings of Italian female theatrical professionalism and the first travels in Europe
Although the debut of Italian female professional performers, in its more general characteristics, is a well-known subject of investigation, the story of the advent of actresses on the early modern stage still presents some areas which are substantially unexplored. My talk aims to comment on the first known documents that witness the official participation of Italian women in this type of “commercial enterprise”. I will discuss the artistic-contractual power of these actresses and I will examine some of their travels around Europe in the last decades of the sixteenth century.

Prof. Sarah Gwyneth Ross:
Why Actresses? Italian Academies, Literary Chivalry, and the Divas of the Andreini Family
Scholars in recent years have taught us a great deal about the networking that Isabella Andreini (d.1604) and Virginia Ramponi (d. ca. 1631) did with the Accademia degli Intenti of Pavia and the Florentine Accademia degli Spensierati, respectively — work which enhanced the status of each diva as well as the cultural credibility of the commedia dell’arte more generally. “Why Actresses?” returns to these interactions from the other direction, asking: What did male academicians stand to gain from trumpeting the virtues of actresses, given the many other types of artist upon whom they might have lavished praise? Coming at the problem from this angle suggests some new possibilities for conceptualizing the cultural capital of actresses in late Renaissance and early Baroque Italy.

Next events of the Crossing Cultures. UCD@SLCL Seminar Series:

23 March @5pm: Survivors in Context: Case Studies, a roundtable with Dr Guido Furci (Sorbonne-Nouvelle), Cecile Rousselet (Sorbonne-Nouvelle), and Dr Cecilia Piantanida (Warwick University)

6 April @5pm: Writings on the Walls: Urban Landscapes in Indian Ocean Scholarship with Professor Didier Nativel (CESSMA research center at Université de Paris) and Dr. Benjamin Hiramatsu Ireland (Texas Christian University)

For further details and booking please visit our Eventbrite page:

The organisers:
Sara Delmedico
Mara Josi
Serena Laiena
Laëtitia Saint-Loubert
Manfa Sanogo